Over the past few years, we have seen the popularity of Apple devices inside of the business world continue to grow. If given a choice, 59 percent of enterprise employees say they would prefer to use Mac or iOS for work than other devices. Moreover, major companies like Bank of America, Deloitte, and GE are deploying Apple devices in big numbers — especially as more employees look to work remotely in 2022 and beyond.
For IT admins and managed service providers (MSPs), this rapid adoption of Apple devices in the workplace means you need to be fully prepared with the right tools to account for and properly secure and manage the influx of Apple devices inside your managed environments. One tool to familiarize yourself with is Apple Business Manager, which helps IT admins leverage the built-in framework for mobile device management inside iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS devices.
Apple Business Manager is Apple’s own tool for MSPs and IT admins to deploy and manage Apple devices. When deployed in partnership with a broader mobile device management (MDM) platform, Apple Business Manager can help ensure you’re providing a holistic and comprehensive set of services to your end users when it comes to onboarding, managing, and securing their Apple devices.
A similar tool is available to schools. Apple School Manager includes many of the same features as Apple Business Manager but is tailored for schools and educational institutions.
Functions and capabilities of Apple Business Manager
Apple Business Manager is your connection between Apple and your MDM solution. In Apple Business Manager, you’re able to direct your devices to the MDM they should enroll into, purchase Apps and Books licenses for your MDM to distribute, and set up and control Managed Apple IDs.
Automated Device Enrollment
Often referred to as “Zero Touch Deployment,” Automated Device Enrollment starts from Apple Business Manager. Any Apple equipment you purchase can be automatically enrolled into your MDM. You can then automate the setup and configuration of all of your Apple equipment from your MDM. This automation ensures that Apple devices are fully compliant with the policies set by the organization and that all necessary software is properly installed. By leveraging the automation of your MDM paired with Automated Device Enrollment, the onboarding process for new employees and their equipment is fast, secure, and consistent, especially when you are deploying or reprovisioning large numbers of devices.
Apps and Books
Apple Business Manager is your one-stop to purchase licenses for Applications and Books. All the applications you wish to deploy from the Apple App store can be purchased from Apple Business Manager. You can quickly provision from within your MDM solution which devices in your organization receive which applications.
Managed Apple IDs
With Apple Business Manager and Managed Apple IDs, you’re able to provide your employees with an Apple ID to use on their device that your organization controls. With a Managed Apple ID, when an employee leaves your organization, you can recapture licenses assigned to that Apple ID. If employees use their personal Apple ID, the licenses you purchase for your organization may go with that employee when they leave.
How IT admins can leverage Apple business management capabilities
Apple Business Manager is available from Apple’s business site. As an IT admin, you can easily enroll if you don’t already have an account through the site. Once enrolled, you can connect your MDM solution to Apple Business and School Manager.
You can drive significant value when you’re able to holistically manage and secure all the devices in your managed environments. Tools like MDM and Apple Business Manager make it easy to ensure your organization remains the trusted advisor your end users need.